Minister of Transport Anthony Loke has announced plans to revamp the road tax structure for electric vehicles (EVs) in Malaysia. The Ministry is also exploring additional incentives to encourage the public to purchase EVs. One proposed incentive is the introduction of special number plates for EVs, which would distinguish them from other vehicles on the road. Loke believes these measures will help promote the adoption of EVs in the country. He shared these plans during the Green Mobility and Transport Forum.
The proposal for special number plates for EVs in Malaysia could involve creating a new series of plates dedicated to EVs, similar to Singapore’s “EVS” series. Another option is to add a specific letter at the front or back of the existing number plates, similar to the practice in Germany. Alternatively, Malaysia may consider introducing special green plates, like the ones used in China and the UK, to distinguish EVs on the road. These different approaches aim to visually differentiate EVs and raise awareness about their presence.
The mention of “e-plates” by Minister Loke suggests the possibility of using a different type of number plate technology specifically designed for EVs. One futuristic idea could involve digital displays on the plates to show vehicle registration, but this technology is not yet feasible. A more practical interpretation would be the use of “digital number plates” with embedded RFID tags. These RFID tags could facilitate vehicle tracking for law enforcement and potentially enable toll payments. Malaysia is planning to implement barrier-less tolls using RFID technology in 2025, which aligns with the potential use of such digital number plates.
Specialized number plates for EVs would facilitate better enforcement of EV-specific benefits, such as reserved parking spaces with charging facilities. By quickly identifying EVs through special plates, parking operators can prevent non-EVs from occupying these spaces. Minister Loke mentioned that the Ministry of Transport (MOT) aims to announce the details of these incentives, including the new EV road tax structure, by the end of the year. The announcement will provide more information on how the incentives and the specialized number plates will be implemented in Malaysia.